When we ask the nearest person for their feedback, there is no guarantee that they are knowledgeable about the things we want to know about.
Usually, they will still agree to weigh in.
This is how bad advice gets traction in the world.
Here were a couple of things I heard recently that this blog does not endorse:
“You looked nervous!”
How is this helpful? Either they were nervous, which they already knew, or they weren’t, and now they feel like they’ve messed up. Being nervous is perfectly normal, and it’s not the job of the feedback-giver to talk about that. Talk about how the speaker made you feel or what they made you think about, rather than guessing about the speaker’s internal state.
“Here’s something I heard recently that is supposed to work—-picture the audience naked!”
I have written about this old standby before, and here’s the gist. What’s happening when you’re picturing the audience naked? Are you thinking about your intention, about the core of your message that is so meaningful that it brought you here today? You are not. Instead, you’re trying to make yourself feel better by imagining something that isn’t real, and that is inherently distracting.
Instead, ask for targeted, knowledgable feedback. Get someone in your corner who can tell you what you’re doing well and help you build on your strengths.